Lesson plan

Cooperative Commerce and Geography

Show students what buying and selling looked like before credit cards! This lesson explores commerce with the book *Ox-Man Cart* and a United States regional food production map. Students will answer questions and draw conclusions.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to recount key details or ideas and answer questions about a fictional text and map.

(3 minutes)
  • Ask, “Where do you think your lunch came from?" When students respond their house or the cafeteria, follow up by asking, "But did it really come from those places? Did someone grow the fruits and veggies, or raise the animals in those locations? Probably not!"
  • Explain to students that most of our produce and meat comes from rural areas, unless we grow it ourselves.
  • Tell students that today they are going to read a book that is fictional, but that shares real information about how consumers (buyers) and producers (sellers) rely on each other for their supplies. They will also participate in collaborative conversations in small groups and whole groups.
(15 minutes)
  • Read the Learning Objective with the students and review the key words: a producer is the seller or creator of goods and services, while a consumer is the buyer or user of them. (Note: these are not to be confused with producers and consumers in relation to the food chain.)
  • Read the book Ox-Cart Man with the students, highlighting the journey the ox-man takes to sell his wares, along with the purchases he makes from the proceeds of his sales. Focus on the interdependence of the buyers and sellers.
  • Ask questions that require students to recount key details or ideas from the text about producers and consumers. For example:
    • "What were some of the supplies the ox-man packed to sell?"
    • "What did he leave behind before leaving to the market?"
    • "Why would he make sure to have enough supplies for winter?"
    • "What did he sell at the market?"
    • "What did he do with some of the money he earned?"
    • "Why do you think he had to travel so far to sell his products?"
    • "During what time period did the book take place?"
  • Allow students to discuss these questions in a collaborative conversation with their elbow partners before sharing them aloud with the whole class.
  • Relate the topics seen in the text with the map. Say, “While the book showed a short trek within one state, we will look at a map of the United States to identify regions that specialize in creating certain types of goods to sell.”
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the “Land Use” Map.
  • Review the features on the maps and what each icon represents:
    • Pacific: apples, peaches and grapes
    • Mountain: potato and cattle
    • Northern Plains: wheat
    • Lake States: automobiles,
    • Southern Plain: cattle
    • Appalachia: coal
    • Delta States, Southeast: fish
  • Ask questions to test students’ understanding of the map and its features:
    • "Which region has only one land use?"
    • "What does the Northeast supply?"
    • "Which regions supply cattle?"
    • "What color region has three resources?"
  • Allow students to discuss the key ideas and topics shown in the map in small groups. Afterwards, choose volunteers to share the group's ideas aloud with the whole class.
(7 minutes)
  • Ask students to answer some questions in the worksheet about the land use in each of the states in the worksheet.
  • Read the directions with the students and provide assistance as necessary.


  • Provide definitions for vocabulary words in the map questions as necessary. Enrichment:
  • Challenge the students’ geography skills by asking them to complete the “Food Map” worksheet about resources.
(3 minutes)
  • Evaluate students’ understanding of the interdependence of consumers and producers through their oral responses to questions about the key details and ideas from the book and the map.
  • Review students' written responses to the worksheet questions as well.
(2 minutes)
  • Review the student objective and call on random students to provide the definition of the key words.
  • Ask, “If you lived during the same time period as the Ox-Man, what do you think you would do for work so you could feed your family?”
  • Allow students to share their answers with their partners, and then a few students can share with the class using key ideas and details from the book to support their answer.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items